Pan-Subcontinentalism - A New Nationalism!

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RajeshA
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Pan-Subcontinentalism - A New Nationalism!

Postby RajeshA » 31 Dec 2010 13:20

Perhaps from the Subject Title itself, one can infer what it supposed to be about.

This is supposed to be an effort to give the desires of the people of the Indian Subcontinent for an integrated, consolidated, merged, fused, unified Indian Subcontinent a new home, a new ideology!

It was felt that people of other countries in the Indian Subcontinent also have desires to see a unification of the subcontinent into a single political union, or some milder unified arrangement. However any desire to merge with India, opens them to criticism from their fellow countrymen, that they are taken in by Indian propaganda of 'Akhand Bharat', or have sold their souls and patriotism to India, or they are now all RA&W agents. It is difficult for them to demand unification of the Subcontinent, without being called unpatriotic. Current voices in favor of integration are looked upon as having an Indo-centric world view.

The effort is to enable the people of the Subcontinent to espouse their views and to express their feelings of belonging as being directed towards the whole Subcontinent, and not to India per se.

As of now, the term is still a kora kagaz, a blank paper. What this Nationalism should additionally entail, is up to us to define. Considering that Indian Nationalism is the most successful model yet, defined for a plural and diverse population of a region, one would rightfully be tempted to use Indian Nationalism as a template.

I hope to contribute my views on this issue in the coming days and months. I urge all BRFites to contribute as well in the formulation of its tenets and assessing the possibility of success of such an ideology to take root and to spread.

Additionally, I would request all BRFites that news and discussions on SAARC also be carried out here.

Thanks

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Re: Pan-Subcontinentalism - A New Nationalism!

Postby Samudragupta » 31 Dec 2010 14:01

Do we need to have any 'Nationalism' for the states of the SAARC to unite in a single framework? Can't we have a simple Union of the SAARC, the properties of the Union will be
1.Security Union.
2. Economic union.

While the first issue will have lot of contension the latter can be easy to formulate and the start can be Monetary Union with single currency and Free Trade among the member states.Movement of Goods will be allowed and movement of people with some regulatory measures can be allowed.
The Security union will be most debated issue, because somebody has to provide security to the member states for the political fallout of the union, in this case who will provide the security? Under the current scenarios the Americans are the only one I can think of,but will the Americans agree with the project?

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Re: Pan-Subcontinentalism - A New Nationalism!

Postby Pratyush » 31 Dec 2010 14:09

Rajesh,

As is usual you have thrown an lit match stick in a pool of petrol. Let us see what the resultant fire will reveal.

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Re: Pan-Subcontinentalism - A New Nationalism!

Postby vina » 31 Dec 2010 14:23

It was felt that people of other countries in the Indian Subcontinent also have desires to see a unification of the subcontinent into a single political union


Err. Thanks, but no thanks. The partition while a tragedy at that time, on hindsight is in a way the best thing that could have happened. It liberated from India a set of people whose world view is not shaped by the nations of a modern state, but a backward, medieval world view, driven my a religious millenarianism that harks back to the 7th century and the consequences of that world view. It is notable that those folks seceded /removed themselves from India.

All I can quote is VS Naipaul from his "Million Mutinies" .

Once the demand for Pakistan /religious world view based secession-ism was raised , it was inevitable. Trying to hold such a state against that kind of tendency is futile. All the energies of the state would have gone into just holding itself together


In a way, Pakistan was inevitable and it is important that that they experiment on their own and their successes and failures be their own. Holding it against their will would have always resulted in a "what if /grass is greener on the other side" thing.

And finally, if anyone wants a "subcontinental state" with Pawkees and Pawkee mentality Bangladeshis in it, thanks, I have no use for it and will want out if it comes about for any reason. The fundamental values of those societies are different and it will have a corrosive effect on the polity (think Mulamyam Singh Muslim kind of vote bank politics multiplied 100).

They went their separate way. Good riddance. Let them stay separate . I have no concern whether they thrive or die. I have no need for them and most of all simply don't want them as fellow citizens and would prefer a electrified fence ,with barbed wire and motion control sensors , patrolled by guard dogs between me and them at all times.

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Re: Pan-Subcontinentalism - A New Nationalism!

Postby Samudragupta » 31 Dec 2010 14:24

Its obvious that current set of leaders of the SC don't have the capability to carry fwd the project and you need new breed of leaders to make this move,
the son of current PM of Bangladesh, Joy can be one such leader, Prince of Bhutan,the Nepalese army can be other power centres, but nobody can match Amrullah Saleh if he is roped in to the project because no body can understand the pull of the different power centres othar than him.

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Re: Pan-Subcontinentalism - A New Nationalism!

Postby Vikas » 31 Dec 2010 16:19

What kind of integration we you looking for ? Something on the lines of EU or India & Nepal. I am not sure if others in the region would be as thrilled to join Union led by India. The big brother syndrome looms large.
Personally I am opposed to any integration that involves Pakistani's and Bangala Deshis. I would rather be more interested in Integration with Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia. I have nothing against the above mentioned countries but I would rather have a barbed wire protected by Prithvi's and Arjun's between us. I feel more safe that way.

We keep harping about Indian states focusing on making money and not paying attention to defense in the past which caused all these Islamic plunderers to simply walk in and take away the riches and enjoy on it. All they had to do was wait till the fruit ripened.
How would this integration be any different. Pakis instead of attacking and winning would simply plunder India in the garb of Integration and once the Land is made barren, would demand another Partition and this time with a bigger piece of Pie.
So once again , let's focus on the India that we have currently and if we can recover what we lost in 1947/1957/1962, that would be wonderful.

This integration story is way passed its sell by date whatever type of novel you try to publish it in.

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Re: Pan-Subcontinentalism - A New Nationalism!

Postby RajeshA » 31 Dec 2010 16:28

vina wrote:
RajeshA wrote:It was felt that people of other countries in the Indian Subcontinent also have desires to see a unification of the subcontinent into a single political union
Err. Thanks, but no thanks. The partition while a tragedy at that time, on hindsight is in a way the best thing that could have happened.
......
And finally, if anyone wants a "subcontinental state" with Pawkees and Pawkee mentality Bangladeshis in it

As far as I know, Pawkees belong to to a mystical region called "South Asia" and not to the "Indian Subcontinent"! :wink:

Besides Pawkees and Mohajirs, and Pak-pasand Bangladeshis, there are many subnationalities in the Indian Subcontinent, who feel the need for a common home in the Subcontinent. Let's also remember the Nepali people, the Sinhalese, the Tamil Ezham, the Burmese, the Khidmatgars, the Sindhi, the Baluchi, the Gilgitians, etc.

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Re: Pan-Subcontinentalism - A New Nationalism!

Postby Vikas » 31 Dec 2010 16:34

How much part religion has to play when Indian nationalism is talked about ?

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Re: Pan-Subcontinentalism - A New Nationalism!

Postby shyamd » 31 Dec 2010 17:01

Only way pan subcontinentalism will be achieved is via the economy. The Pakee's know this. The guys holding the crown across the border want to keep holding the crown. Puki's will have a problem if their ekhanomy relies solely on kaafir yindustan. So, its in TSPs interest to close borders periodically.

This was MMSs ideas of opening up Kaashmir with Musharraf, because he knew trade will bring Kaashmir back to yindustan, but ISI had other plans.

Even today speak to any Bangladeshi, they are incredibly greatful to India, much of their economy relies on India, they routinely travel to Kolkata for medical treatment etc. Lets just keep the relationship as it is.

-------------------------
Take a look at TSP today, shitty economy, terrorism, extremism, not much law and order in parts, militia's runs 30% + of the country and parts of cities too. How many people want this disease spreading in yindustan? The disease is too prevalent, no amount of money will fix it.

Lets be realistic here, Even if tomorrow we invade TSP, and overthrow their army, its going to be a classic Iraq style situation.

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Re: Pan-Subcontinentalism - A New Nationalism!

Postby vina » 31 Dec 2010 17:16

RajeshA wrote:As far as I know, Pawkees belong to to a mystical region called "South Asia" and not to the "Indian Subcontinent"! :wink:


Pawkees can belong to a Mars /Uranus for all I care. They can stay there and frankly don't give a rats a** ,except when they are sending terrorists across, I hope the border guards send them back with an INSAS up their Musharraf.

Besides Pawkees and Mohajirs, and Pak-pasand Bangladeshis, there are many subnationalities in the Indian Subcontinent, who feel the need for a common home in the Subcontinent. Let's also remember the Nepali people,

Nepal has an open border and runs a de facto currency union. What more do you want with them ? Given them seats in the Indian parliament ?. No thanks. We have enough Maoists and Commies as it is.

the Sinhalese ,the Tamil Ezham,

The Sinhalese and the Tamil Ezham guys deserve each other. Locked in some idiotic zero sum game. They need to grow out of it and anyway, will start looking a lot more integration economically and politically towards india in a tearing hury once we hit something like $5000 per capita and of course expect to start seeing huge economic migration from there like they do towards "gelf" and "malaysia" from there if they dont pull their pants pull their pants up and get their house in order (frankly with Mahinda Rajapakse, i doubt that happening)

the Burmese,

Their future is more towards ASEAN (close proximity to Thailand etc) and of course neighboring India . Long term a prosperous country, near term a disaster. But I really dont think the Burmese see themselves as a part of the "sub continent" or whatever

the Khidmatgars, the Sindhi, the Baluchi, the Gilgitians, etc.


They opted to be Pawkees. So they remain Pawkees. Of course if they separate out from PakiLand via some violent insurrection or best case, Pawki Land collapsing, they remain as stand alone ex-Pawkees, sort of like Bangladesh and we can have great relations as neighbors etc. But no letting them into the tent anyways.

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Re: Pan-Subcontinentalism - A New Nationalism!

Postby A_Gupta » 31 Dec 2010 17:48

The people of the subcontinent lived together reasonably peaceably, and even absorbed a lot of injustice, when they had little say in the rulers, and the rulers were aliens from half-a-world away.

It was when the time came to rule themselves that an enormous amount of distrust showed up. Mussalmans feared "Hindu domination", Hindus feared Mussalman aggression, Sikhs could not tolerate Muslim rule, etc., etc.

We say that the Mussalmans of Pakistan and Bangladesh have backwards looking ideologies. That has a whole lot of truth. But - if we believe Jinnah's speeches - he feared a country where hawkers at the railway stations sold "Hindu water" and "Muslim water"; where Muslims were excluded from a morning sea-dip ceremony at the beginning of a Congress session; and so on. We do not see all that today, because the Hindu has changed faster than perhaps Jinnah could anticipate.

Back then, one subcontinental could not trust another subcontinental with power.

Given the rants we see on BRF from Indians about elected fellow-Indians "selling out Indian interests", we see that this trust in even fellow Indians, and in the electoral process is lacking. Today, after 60+ years of this system. And somehow, in the 1920s-30s-40s, never having had this system, people were supposed to blindly trust - maybe they should have, but maybe it was too much to ask for.

Then there is real corruption, nepotism, regionalism and casteism to contend with.

If you want a pan-subcontinentalism **that means anything** to develop that emanates outwards from India and brings India's neighbors into a friendly configuration, then India must develop a reputation for secular, non-corrupt, competent, technocratic administration, and for impartial, swift justice. If people trust you, there will not be the automatic negative reaction to your increasing power.

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Re: Pan-Subcontinentalism - A New Nationalism!

Postby RajeshA » 31 Dec 2010 17:52

VikasRaina wrote:How much part religion has to play when Indian nationalism is talked about ?


VikasRaina ji,
There have been several centrifugal ideologies making their rounds in the Indian Subcontinent in the past 80 odd years -
  1. Two-Nation Theory based on Hindus and Muslims being two separate nations,
  2. Anti-Indianism based on India being the regional hegemon,
  3. Subnationalism based on separateness of the ethnicities,
  4. Muslim Chauvinism (Racism), e.g. Pakjabis are more TFTA,
  5. Ghettoisation & Segregation as championed by Islam
  6. etc.

All these theories and ideologies are Pan-Subcontinental in scope, and they are there to tear apart the social and historical fabric of the Indian Subcontinent.

The only centripetal ideologies currently available are:
  1. Akhand Bharat, which almost all non-Indics rightfully or wrongly regard as Hindu based, and as such of no use to them, and even the Hindus regarded as outmoded, as they too would not like to have so many Muslims in India.
  2. SAARC Regional Integration which is also similarly a dead duck, as it is Govt-to-Govt based.

IMHO, I see a need for another centripetal ideology on a Pan-Subcontinental basis, and I call it Pan-Subcontinentalism!

Basically it is more or less the projection of Indian Nationalism, of the Idea of India, to a much larger canvas - the Indian Subcontinent.

So Pan-Subcontinentalism is basically there to counteract the centrifugal ideologies in the Indian Subcontinent.

As the centrifugal ideologies originate and prosper among non-Indians and often amongst non-Indic Indians, the Pan-Subcontinentalism is also conceived to cater to that constituency.

Of course, on the Indian side too, there can be many takers for this, who do not like to identify to themselves with terminology more popular amongst the Hindu Nationalists like 'Akhand Bharat'. A different term allows this constituency amongst Indians to also reach out to the others for the cause of integration, without being seen as associated with the Hindu Nationalists. I like 'Akhand Bharat', but I also know there are those who squirm when they hear it. 'Pan-Subcontinentalism' can allow them to express much the same without their usual discomfort.

Basically I think, from the Indian side, or at least to BRFites, it must be clear that there isn't going to be any subcontinental integration just like that. The Hindu Nationalists have a veto. So any principles that are agreed to for the integration, and any verification and enforcement mechanisms that are to be put into place, have to first find acceptance with the Hindu Nationalists, and I would say with the Hindus in general, before they are given their approval. So, I don't see any reason to be perturbed by this nationalism.

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Re: Pan-Subcontinentalism - A New Nationalism!

Postby SwamyG » 31 Dec 2010 19:59

RajeshA wrote:there are many subnationalities in the Indian Subcontinent, who feel the need for a common home in the Subcontinent. Let's also remember the Nepali people, the Sinhalese, the Tamil Ezham, the Burmese, the Khidmatgars, the Sindhi, the Baluchi, the Gilgitians, etc.

How do you know all those have the "feelings" or "need" ? The only thing I definitely can say for sure, India needs more land. Seriously. Urgently. and Now, to support its huge growing population. Either it has to "export" people out or get new lands. There is no other way to have a sustainable life without harming the environment.

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Re: Pan-Subcontinentalism - A New Nationalism!

Postby Sudip » 01 Jan 2011 00:06

Samudragupta wrote:Do we need to have any 'Nationalism' for the states of the SAARC to unite in a single framework? Can't we have a simple Union of the SAARC, the properties of the Union will be
1.Security Union.
2. Economic union.


I am surprised this issue is being discussed in BRF! I thought this has been discussed thread bare time and again in so many forums. I find it funny that I am having to repeat the same statements made so many times in so many forums:--

1) Economic union has not found to be viable if you look around, the EU is turning to be a nightmare as the better performing economies are being dragged down by the poorer economies.
2) There was a similar proposal for economically uniting US, canada and mexico (common currency and all). never worked US is not going to be dragged down by poorer mexico.

In the love for fellow SDRE you might yearn to be united back with your bangladeshi bretheren. Just a couple of million refugees are giving us nightmare and u want the whole country back??!! not me for sure!

This idea could be discussed again after about 50-100 years after islam undergoes a renaissance like christianity or hinduism went through. not otherwise.

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Re: Pan-Subcontinentalism - A New Nationalism!

Postby Prem » 01 Jan 2011 00:23

Pan Subcontinentalism means lack of confidence in India, its people and the capabiity to achieve new economic and military height without compromising its civilizational foundations. Lets no forget our strengths while focussing on preceived weaknesses. Panindicta with 400% selfishness will be much more benfitial than any Pan subcontinentalism. Let Indics be the Honey to attract all the bees around the neighborhood so we can either capture or eliminate them. India is a civilizational country and it must develop accordingly. The burden we shed in 47 have been good so far and Time is on our side to take the lost lands of Indian in near future.

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Re: Pan-Subcontinentalism - A New Nationalism!

Postby brihaspati » 01 Jan 2011 00:52

It is true that earlier regimes failed to protect borders. But one of the main driving factors in failing to protect the frontiers against hostile and rapacious intruders and ideologies - was the clamour for profits. The insistence of the mercantile mentality that trade and profits alone should drive national policy and strategy appears to have won out among the rulers.

Such an attitude is still reflected in the "economic prosperity only" line touted in many instances even now. Only problem is that such an overwhelming power given to the mercantile mentality in the end also brings disaters for its very own aim - it allows hostile ideologies to take root under the name of "profits" and "tolerance". So that one day those ideologies can undermine the resistance of the nation and hostile interests come in under the cover of those ideologies and strike at the very roots of prosperity and profits itself.

Pan-subcointinentalism can be a slogan for political correctness, but beneath it - expansion beyond the frontier is necessary to actually secure what is inside the frontier. This was the crucial mistake that the ancient rulers made - that to secure the inside you have to sanitize also the perimeter and nip in the bud and maintain constant vigilance against any potential hostile force rising in the neighbourhood.

We need sovereignty over those lands, because only then can we ensure erasure of ideologies, restructuring of societies, and social engineering that can secure stability, safety and prosperity for all "within". If we go in, it is to block out external help for infections to survive, and surgically remove what is unslavagable and maybe treat with medicine what is still worth saving.

However retaining those festering wounds does not help. It only takes away from our "profits" becauseof the resources that we have to devote to keep up with them.

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Re: Pan-Subcontinentalism - A New Nationalism!

Postby Kamboja » 01 Jan 2011 01:10

RajeshA-ji, as always I salute your ability to stir up a hornet's nest!

You perhaps intentionally left these things unsaid, but there are a few parameters that you (or other esteemed members) will need to define to have a meaningful discussion about a pan-subcontinental project.

1) Time Frame
Perhaps most critical, what is the time frame you are thinking of for this pan-subcontinental union to become feasible? I need hardly point out that circumstances today are not conducive to it happening, so what needs to change before it is feasible? Answering that question will then give us an idea if we are talking of a 10-year project or a 100-year project or even a 1000-year project (beware of any project with a 1000-year timeline, I would say...).

2) Details of the Union
I am thinking here of areas such as -
- Economic sphere: will we have a common currency? Free movement of labor and capital? Ability to own property and run businesses in any part of the subcontinent?
- Political sphere: will we have a common central government or an EU-style 'union of unions'? Will there be equal rights for all? Will the source of legitimacy and inspiration of the law be secular or religious-based, or a mixture of both (as is the case in India now with family law for Muslims being left to sharia whereas secular common law applies to most other spheres)? Will it be a democracy?

2a) Cultural/ Religious sphere
This is a sub-parameter of (2) above but I think it merits an entirely separate discussion. How much will the societies of the existing states of Pakistan (and to a lesser extent Bangladesh, and to a still lesser extent Nepal) need to change before a union becomes feasible?

I assume here that the majority of citizens of these states would opt for a union and would have a reasonable stake in the survival and thriving of the union. This is utterly impossible if one looks at Pakistan, which has its citizens and even army convinced that India is a minor Satan led by Brahmins and Banias, and is busily massacring all the Muslims and 'Dalits' and Sikhs and Tamils and Maoists and 'Nexels', and is a partner with the Great Satan and its Middle-Eastern Zionist outpost in a grand strategy to destroy 'the Muslims' globally. Tens of thousands of Wahhabandi madrassas spew venom and hatred into the minds of the 175+ million pairs of ears next door. This is supported not only by the TSPA (the rulers of TSP) but also by global players like the Saudis (and indirectly the Chinese). Does all this need to change before the union you envision becomes feasible?

3) Global factors
Mentioning China and KSA brings me to the third major parameter -- it is not in the interests of any global player outside of the subcontinent to see the union you envision come to pass. China, the USA, the OIC, all these countries would likely oppose such a massive consolidation of power and humanity into one bloc, and would intensify efforts (already prodigious today) to expose cracks, splits, disagreements, and conflict, all to prevent the union from occurring.

How do you see their actions playing out, and how can their meddling be obviated in order for the union to come about?

Forgive the long-winded post, but I am clearly inspired! :mrgreen: I also believe that for the long-term (hundreds of years) thriving of India we must secure the space around us, from Afghanistan and Eastern Iran to Burma to Madagascar to Somalia to Western Indonesia... not that we must necessarily rule these areas, but we must have a tolerable level of control over them. Otherwise India will remain hemmed in and with too many instruments on its borders just waiting to be used by hostile powers.

JMT onlee.

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Re: Pan-Subcontinentalism - A New Nationalism!

Postby ramana » 01 Jan 2011 05:08

Good idea RajeshA. I want to explore all ideas of achieving this. Maybe we need to redefine a new geographical entity as a new identity.

Victor Davis Hanson the conservative American idealogue argues that the new American century is interesting as their rivals do no have any culture by that he means an idea to spread their extent.

The American 21st Century


America’s rivals lack the culture necessary to sustain greatness.

Victor Davis Hanson

American rivals lack culture to sustain greatness


In Europe and elsewhere nationalism is giving way to regionalism or geographical ideas. Eg EU is a new regional nationalism!

Most likely by mid to late century we will see a North American blob spreading from Canada to Latin America once US gives up its manifest destiny hog wash based on new Christianity. Might need a few more bubbles.

---------------
Will post the Kishore Mahbubani's article for completeness.

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Re: Pan-Subcontinentalism - A New Nationalism!

Postby ramana » 01 Jan 2011 05:11

One option is already working in PRC. The one China two systems example of Hong Kong integration.
We can have one India with many local forms of governments for the constituents.

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Re: Pan-Subcontinentalism - A New Nationalism!

Postby ramana » 01 Jan 2011 05:54


The trouble that comes in threes

Kishore Mahbubani Posted online: Fri Dec 31 2010, 03:11 hrs

Henry Kissinger once made a famous remark about the tragedy of the Iran-Iraq war. He said, “The only thing wrong with this confrontation is that only one side can lose.” There is no doubt that Kissinger is one of the geopolitical geniuses of our times. In this one brief remark, he captured a strategy that the West has used for the past two centuries to maintain its global domination: divide and rule.The one region that should understand divide-and-rule better than any other is South Asia. The British used this strategy brilliantly and succeeded. One reason why I published my first book, Can Asians Think? was to find an answer to an obvious question: how did my 300 million Indian ancestors allow themselves to be ruled so effortlessly by 100,000 Englishmen? The answer to this question is complex but one element is obvious: divide and rule.The era of Western domination of global history is coming to an end rapidly, but great powers do not give up their power easily. Anyone who thinks the UK and France will give up their permanent seats in the UN Security Council voluntarily must be smoking opium. And in this urge to retain power, it would be very natural for the West to continue using a strategy that has worked well for centuries: divide and rule.The main challenge to Western domination of world history is not coming from Africa or Latin America. It is coming from Asia. This is natural. Up to 1820, the two largest economies of the world were consistently China and India. It was only in the last 200 years that Europe took off, followed by North America. But the last 200-year period of Western domination was a major historical aberration. All historical aberrations come to a natural end. Hence, it is inevitable that by 2050 (and probably earlier) the two largest economies will once again be China and India.The return of China and India can no longer be questioned. The real big question is: will China and India grow together or grow apart? The natural answer to this question should come from the historical pattern of the years 1 to 1820. Then, when China and India provided the world’s largest economies, they never went to war with each other. Hence, if this pattern of two millennia returns, logically China and India should not go to war.However, from 1 AD to 1820, despite the glories of the Greeks and Romans, China and India never had to deal with a third rival civilisation. In the 21st century, even though Western domination of world history will end, the West will not disappear. Indeed, it will remain the single strongest civilisation for another 100 years or more. And it will have a great advantage, with the United States remaining the world’s greatest military power for a longer time.One does not have to be a geopolitical genius to predict that the most important relationship will be the US-China-India geopolitical triangle. And one also does not have to be a genius to know that the best position to occupy in this geopolitical triangle is to be in the middle position. Hence, for example, if India’s relations with both the US and China are better than the US-China bilateral relationship, this will give India a significant geopolitical advantage.So far, the United States enjoys the position of being in the middle. Despite the obvious geopolitical rivalries and tension, the bilateral relationship between the US and China could not be stronger. The total amount of US-China trade last year was $366 billion. China enjoyed a massive trade surplus of $196 billion in the same year. In return, the US enjoys a massive amount of cheap loans from China in the form of over $1 trillion of US treasury bill purchases.Equally importantly, the common permanent membership of the UN Security Council means that on a daily basis the US and China make geopolitical deals. I witnessed this at first hand when I served on the Council in 2001-02. And when a crisis breaks out in North Korea or Iran, the first impulse of Washington, DC is to call Beijing. India’s exclusion from such permanent membership gives it a geopolitical disadvantage.To secure the comfortable middle position in the US-China-India geopolitical triangle, India will have to work hard to simultaneously strengthen its relations with both the US and China. Its relations with the US are on a good wicket now. The American courtship of India has become a major industry in Washington, DC. Some of it is due to ideological affinity as fellow democracies. But as India learned in the Cold War, a democratic US can support a military-dominated Pakistan over democratic India. Geopolitical interests always trump ideological affinities. And since it serves American interests to occupy the middle position in the US-China-India geopolitical triangle, this may be an even more powerful reason for the US courtship of India.The major questions for India therefore are obvious ones: will it be used as a convenient geopolitical card by the US to balance China? Or will it emerge as an independent actor that can use both America and China to advance its own interests? Will it allow emotions and ideology to influence its decisions, or will it use the wisdom of a Henry Kissinger to make cool and calculated long-term choices? Will India use divide and rule, or will India be used again in divide and rule?

The writer is dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore and the author of ‘The New Asian Hemisphere’ canasiansthink@expressindia.com



India's actions are not for Indians but for the self interests of its elite and thier world view is shaped by 150 years of Macaulayization and Amercian maya they have been mesmerized with. However there is a generational and regional shift coming and we will see how it pans out.

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Re: Pan-Subcontinentalism - A New Nationalism!

Postby brihaspati » 01 Jan 2011 06:10

Hong-Konger's do not subscribe to a value system by which evidence of two women is equal to evidence by one man in a court of law, or that slavery is a natural order of human life as ordered by incontrovertivle supra-human authority. Therefore any government based on HK' general citizens' values is feasible to exist within a framework that subscribes otherwise to similar values [they at least agree on gender neutrality on evidence for example, but may not on communist party membership based qualification for trustability of evidence].

What compromises are we willing to concede to get this "union"? What is the baseline of values we will accept as the minimal one? I am not prepared to accept if a region comes up with the claim that in their local style of government it is necessary to bury alive women havedared to choose their marital partners on their own, or that it is faraz to abduct women of other communities, rape them and then claim them as married and converted.

If there is any expansion, it has to be with the only aim of destroying the ideological infrastructure that reproduces what according to us goes into barbarism and anti-civilization. Compromising on this provided the fundamental weaknesses for our civilization in the past. Any framework that tries to compromise on this point is helping and working for ideologies we take as completely hostile to Bharatyia civilization.

Autonomy can be granted only in limited areas that do not compromise on basic values. Moreover such autonomous government should be reserved for special affiliates only - if such a situation arises, like say Tibet which may need it in a particular political-military situation towards its liberty from PRC.

For most others, it is therefore preferable to develop situations by which the regions are "cleaned", military resistance or building back or recovery destroyed, and the survivors socially engineered.

If this is not what is in the mind, then do not give ideas which give hope to the vested interests in those regions that their way of women-burying, IED bursting, slave-trading, abducting and raping life-style will continue and that they will gain greater numerical strength among belief-sharers in a pan-subcontinental nationalism - whose "nation"-definition is left sufficiently vague to accommodate them. On the other hand if clearance is the underlying aim - go on raise dreams as much as you want!

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Re: Pan-Subcontinentalism - A New Nationalism!

Postby ramana » 01 Jan 2011 06:31

Think of a new paradigm.

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Re: Pan-Subcontinentalism - A New Nationalism!

Postby Hari Seldon » 01 Jan 2011 06:45

One decade just gone by. Akin almost to the first decade of the last century - when the Boer war exposed brutally weaknesses and limitations of the 'sun-don't-set-here' Briturd empire. And Germany in Oiropr and US across the pond started to overtake UKstan in industrial production stats. The first inklings, for the sensitive, the thoughtful, the perspicacious that change was coming to the current order. And it did. And how. WW1 sowed the seeds for WW2.

The coming decade could well be a repeat of the second decade of the last century. No, we don;t fight as crudely and rudely now as we did then. The warfare and the trenches will be economic this time. The geopol implications will be no less consequential though.

Why all this general free-flow gyan in this dhaga? Well, because all these tricky sticky things regarding the fundamental incompatibilities of the self-proclaimed religion of peace with a hard-fought and hard-earned modernity will be resolved in the coming economic crisis and churn in the western world far before we subcontinentals will be tasked with decision-making on new nationalism paradigms. Eustan has proven the currency union sans a debt-union and a more general political union unworkable. TSP has already shown that it is concentrated poison unworthy of integration with anything healthy. Heck, even Afg'n is scared of pakislam. So no-go there. Hence, all this yap-yap re new nationalisms is way ahead of its time. Yindia if anything, needs the old nationalism much more only.

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Re: Pan-Subcontinentalism - A New Nationalism!

Postby brihaspati » 01 Jan 2011 06:56

ramanaji,
Willing to learn! :) But so far the alternatives suggested all have one fundamental drawback, they do not have any concrete "erasure" programme. Look at the experience of what has been tried out to "turn attention outwards";

(1) proposing a common enemy :tried with Khilafhat movement, with British Empire. What credible common enemy left now - one that will also be seriously satanic for the other group - USA? Israel? China? Any commonality found?

(2) Trade and Economic Development : tried with Nepal, BD. Billions poured into frontierland of K of J&K. Nothing in the direction of reduction of hatred. In fact Malaysia shows what will happen when that hatred is bolstered by profits and prosperity.

(3) Pumping up religious ego of certain types: not seriously tried. But such calls were given under Mughals - failed miserably. ShaJehan left almost his entire Indian army to be captured and sold into slavery by the co-religionists [ of course non-coreligionist camp-followers/wives fetched a higher price]. The structure of the faith on the subcontinent, with increasing strength of the branch promoted by the desert - is changing steadily. This trend has always submitted to the "western desert" and has never proved resistant to attacks or entries from the west.

(4) Allow regional satraps to have as much autonomy as possible, as long as they send the taxes : tried out - always a recipe for disaster longer term.

(5) Sponsor a state religion with organized church like structure : works for a longer time than item (3), if coming from within Bharatyia traditions. But tends to get mixed up with business as well as pleasure - with the "institutions" the refuge and sanctuary for rascals leading the good life. Also a great one at pushing for non-violence as the cover for risk-avoidance ending up sale of the country and its people.

Pre-Ashokan Maurya, with a built in mechanism to prevent "changes of heart" syndrome seems to be the only consistent model. If I am asked, I will only pretend that I support the idea of "pan-nationalism" - but I would want one nation, on terms I feel are not compromisable, and will not hesitate to support the harshest measures necessary to implement it.

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Re: Pan-Subcontinentalism - A New Nationalism!

Postby Guddu » 01 Jan 2011 07:21

Perhaps, we should start with Nepal and Bhutan, two hindu kingdoms, next Sri Lanka.

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Re: Pan-Subcontinentalism - A New Nationalism!

Postby nachiket » 01 Jan 2011 08:16

RajeshA wrote:As far as I know, Pawkees belong to to a mystical region called "South Asia" and not to the "Indian Subcontinent"! :wink:

Besides Pawkees and Mohajirs, and Pak-pasand Bangladeshis, there are many subnationalities in the Indian Subcontinent, who feel the need for a common home in the Subcontinent. Let's also remember the Nepali people, the Sinhalese, the Tamil Ezham, the Burmese, the Khidmatgars, the Sindhi, the Baluchi, the Gilgitians, etc.


Rajesh ji, when have any of these people voiced their desire for a sub-continental political union? Nepal is being ruled by Maoists, Sinhalese and Tamil Ezham are at loggerheads with each other, Baluchi's want a separate state. Only the Gilgitians and other residents of PoK are relevant as their land is also our land and if we ever manage to capture it back, we'll need an integration plan ready. As for pakees, vina ji echoes my thoughts about them..

vina wrote:They went their separate way. Good riddance. Let them stay separate . I have no concern whether they thrive or die. I have no need for them and most of all simply don't want them as fellow citizens and would prefer a electrified fence ,with barbed wire and motion control sensors , patrolled by guard dogs between me and them at all times.
Last edited by nachiket on 01 Jan 2011 09:12, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pan-Subcontinentalism - A New Nationalism!

Postby Neshant » 01 Jan 2011 09:10

Almost none of the countries surrounding India have anything going for them. They are all basket cases. They will just drag India down the drain - which is where they are headed.

Now that India is finally making some progress on the economic front, lets not rock the boat, get bright ideas and integrate ourselves back into the dark ages.

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Re: Pan-Subcontinentalism - A New Nationalism!

Postby harbans » 01 Jan 2011 09:20

I disagree with Kishore Mahbubani's premises. Fundamental basic flaws in it. One India and China never went to War primarlily for one simple reason: Geography. China was separated from India via Tibet. It's so disheartening to see some realityies are just not accepted by so many strategic writers in India. If India did not go to war with China it did so for the same reason India did not go to war with Brazil or Indonesia. Geography. Now with Tibet gone, India has lost that geography that protected us from the Han..

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Re: Pan-Subcontinentalism - A New Nationalism!

Postby brihaspati » 01 Jan 2011 09:53

Henry Kissinger once made a famous remark about the tragedy of the Iran-Iraq war. He said, “The only thing wrong with this confrontation is that only one side can lose.” There is no doubt that Kissinger is one of the geopolitical geniuses of our times. In this one brief remark, he captured a strategy that the West has used for the past two centuries to maintain its global domination: divide and rule.

Isnt that too simplistic? Not divide and rule but exploited pre-existing divisions. They are a great deal different from each other. Divide and rule led to domination? Or demise for the aspiring power ultimately? Divide and rule was tried by Britain against its rivals in Europe - net result first recourse to piracy and slave-trade and basically having to shift base from Europe into colonies. Even after that continued divide and rule policy led to two world wars that saw the end of the empire and tagging onto the tail of USA.

USA's divide and rule policy also gave short term gains and but ultimately proving its recipe for disaster, bankruptcy and retreat in almost all theatres it once "dominated" - Africa, ME, and the greater part of Asia.Iraq a brilliant success for Kissinger types!! Goodness!

The one region that should understand divide-and-rule better than any other is South Asia. The British used this strategy brilliantly and succeeded. One reason why I published my first book, Can Asians Think? was to find an answer to an obvious question: how did my 300 million Indian ancestors allow themselves to be ruled so effortlessly by 100,000 Englishmen? The answer to this question is complex but one element is obvious: divide and rule.The era of Western domination of global history is coming to an end rapidly, but great powers do not give up their power easily.


Again a very poor reading of Indian history at best. Divide and rule does not appear to be the driving cause of success, but a completely different use of strategy. That of exploiting cultural weaknesses and values that could be opportunistically and deceptively employed to win wars, battles, and destroy the military capacity of target populations. Indians lost out more because of certain value based shortcomings - basically lack of ruthlessness - or some degree of ethical behaviour in conflicts which Europeans dropped completely when engaging those they felt were racially different. If it was all only a matter of policy of divide-and-rule why is western domination weakening!

Anyone who thinks the UK and France will give up their permanent seats in the UN Security Council voluntarily must be smoking opium. And in this urge to retain power, it would be very natural for the West to continue using a strategy that has worked well for centuries: divide and rule.The main challenge to Western domination of world history is not coming from Africa or Latin America. It is coming from Asia. This is natural. Up to 1820, the two largest economies of the world were consistently China and India. It was only in the last 200 years that Europe took off, followed by North America. But the last 200-year period of Western domination was a major historical aberration. All historical aberrations come to a natural end. Hence, it is inevitable that by 2050 (and probably earlier) the two largest economies will once again be China and India.The return of China and India can no longer be questioned.


He does not answer the question as to whether the Europeans managed to divide China and India initially to start their growth. He knows he cannot prove it. The economies were complementary and the high point of trade had passed in the 1300-1400 period.

The real big question is: will China and India grow together or grow apart? The natural answer to this question should come from the historical pattern of the years 1 to 1820. Then, when China and India provided the world’s largest economies, they never went to war with each other. Hence, if this pattern of two millennia returns, logically China and India should not go to war.However, from 1 AD to 1820, despite the glories of the Greeks and Romans, China and India never had to deal with a third rival civilisation. In the 21st century, even though Western domination of world history will end, the West will not disappear. Indeed, it will remain the single strongest civilisation for another 100 years or more. And it will have a great advantage, with the United States remaining the world’s greatest military power for a longer time.One does not have to be a geopolitical genius to predict that the most important relationship will be the US-China-India geopolitical triangle. And one also does not have to be a genius to know that the best position to occupy in this geopolitical triangle is to be in the middle position. Hence, for example, if India’s relations with both the US and China are better than the US-China bilateral relationship, this will give India a significant geopolitical advantage.So far, the United States enjoys the position of being in the middle. Despite the obvious geopolitical rivalries and tension, the bilateral relationship between the US and China could not be stronger. The total amount of US-China trade last year was $366 billion. China enjoyed a massive trade surplus of $196 billion in the same year. In return, the US enjoys a massive amount of cheap loans from China in the form of over $1 trillion of US treasury bill purchases.Equally importantly, the common permanent membership of the UN Security Council means that on a daily basis the US and China make geopolitical deals. I witnessed this at first hand when I served on the Council in 2001-02. And when a crisis breaks out in North Korea or Iran, the first impulse of Washington, DC is to call Beijing. India’s exclusion from such permanent membership gives it a geopolitical disadvantage.To secure the comfortable middle position in the US-China-India geopolitical triangle, India will have to work hard to simultaneously strengthen its relations with both the US and China.


He is omitting the fact that US chose China as its ally at a point when China was poor, and for entirely ideological reasons - it was to use Mao's ego to wean China away from Russia. communism was the evil and not just an economic one for US then. It was this relationship that was exploited by China to come onto the world economic skullduggery. To follow in that path, India then has to show the potential to be a good dog to bark at the season's enemy number one for USA. That is a contradiction to his thesis to be equally friendly to China.

Its relations with the US are on a good wicket now. The American courtship of India has become a major industry in Washington, DC. Some of it is due to ideological affinity as fellow democracies. But as India learned in the Cold War, a democratic US can support a military-dominated Pakistan over democratic India. Geopolitical interests always trump ideological affinities.


So ideological affinity "works" as fellow democrats in geo-politics - and does not work simultaneously in geopolitics. He should make up his mind. Then again, what makes geo-political interests themselves free of ideological affinities? That is can not ideological differences itself decide and colour geopolitical objectives?

And since it serves American interests to occupy the middle position in the US-China-India geopolitical triangle, this may be an even more powerful reason for the US courtship of India.The major questions for India therefore are obvious ones: will it be used as a convenient geopolitical card by the US to balance China? Or will it emerge as an independent actor that can use both America and China to advance its own interests? Will it allow emotions and ideology to influence its decisions, or will it use the wisdom of a Henry Kissinger to make cool and calculated long-term choices? Will India use divide and rule, or will India be used again in divide and rule?


Ah - friendship with China! Sure, why not - tried from 1949-1962, until the very last dramatic end of hope. China had consistently made favourable noises when Nehru consistently conceded or acted in favour of Chinese interests during the early days - especially in the Korean war period - over the Tibetan question. Chinese communists cannot be trusted, moreover they have their own imperial ambitions.

Why not try to divide up Chinese society itself - provide support for the slowly rising pressure for more open forms of government a dn democracy within China against the communist party? Moreover why the assumption that China and USA are really going to fight!

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Re: Pan-Subcontinentalism - A New Nationalism!

Postby jamwal » 01 Jan 2011 12:11

Setting all grand theories of geo-politics aside, a simpleton nationalist like me will never even think of any kind of integration with Pakisatan and Kangladesh unless and until the monster of Islamism is crushed, burnt and it's ashes disposed off in space. Islamism is what caused division of Bharat in first place. Since then Indians have worked really hard to rise again, while the Islamic monster from outside as well as within India has tried it's best to destroy us. This shouldn't be taken as a rant against Muslims. A lot of muslims are good human beings but they can't put their good intentions to productive use just because of the vicious stranglehold of their religion.

First step towards any effort towards unification should be destruction of Islam, specially it's political and social version. Ever since it's inception it has not brought even an iota of progress, peace and goodwill anywhere in the world.

SwamyG wrote:How do you know all those have the "feelings" or "need" ? The only thing I definitely can say for sure, India needs more land. Seriously. Urgently. and Now, to support its huge growing population. Either it has to "export" people out or get new lands. There is no other way to have a sustainable life without harming the environment.


Sir jee,
Pakisatan and Bangladesh are even more densely populated than India. India will not gain anything this way.

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Re: Pan-Subcontinentalism - A New Nationalism!

Postby RajeshA » 01 Jan 2011 15:44

SwamyG wrote:
RajeshA wrote:there are many subnationalities in the Indian Subcontinent, who feel the need for a common home in the Subcontinent. Let's also remember the Nepali people, the Sinhalese, the Tamil Ezham, the Burmese, the Khidmatgars, the Sindhi, the Baluchi, the Gilgitians, etc.

How do you know all those have the "feelings" or "need" ? The only thing I definitely can say for sure, India needs more land. Seriously. Urgently. and Now, to support its huge growing population. Either it has to "export" people out or get new lands. There is no other way to have a sustainable life without harming the environment.


SwamyG ji,
Sent you an email!

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Re: Pan-Subcontinentalism - A New Nationalism!

Postby SwamyG » 01 Jan 2011 21:36

jamwal wrote:
SwamyG wrote:How do you know all those have the "feelings" or "need" ? The only thing I definitely can say for sure, India needs more land. Seriously. Urgently. and Now, to support its huge growing population. Either it has to "export" people out or get new lands. There is no other way to have a sustainable life without harming the environment.


Sir jee,
Pakisatan and Bangladesh are even more densely populated than India. India will not gain anything this way.

I am like you too, simple guy. I consider economies, institutions, kingdoms, countries ityadi all are created by the people for the people. After the creation, these however get hijacked. But that is another story. With a burgeoning population the first thing any Indian would need is access to clean water - for drinking, irrigation and sundry activities. With our modern aspirations and lifestyle, it becomes a gigantic task for India to give its population all that it desires. My point, sooner or later India will have to think about "redistribution" of its population.

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Re: Pan-Subcontinentalism - A New Nationalism!

Postby Sudip » 01 Jan 2011 22:55

SwamyG wrote:My point, sooner or later India will have to think about "redistribution" of its population.


If you observe global trends, then with improving education and affluence the birth rate will automatically go down so population control will be a natural phenomena. The only aberration I again see here is the islamist philosophy of child birth where more is better so again that brings us back to the point made by Jamwal.

As for population redistribution, I think the current voluntary redistribution of indian human resources to all regions except africa and south america is working good for us as its resulting in a big supportive lobby which works in our favour. So this is going beyond sub-continentalism to inter-continentalism.

As a hindsight, it doesnt take a rocket scientist to figure out that any kind of union would result in population influx from our two islamic neighbours given their economic/social etc situation so it isnt helping the redistribution case whatsoever. As for rest of the SAARC ie sri lanka, nepal and bhutan, that might work out.

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Re: Pan-Subcontinentalism - A New Nationalism!

Postby SwamyG » 01 Jan 2011 23:07

This might be germane to the discussion here. The last few days I have been watching old Hindi songs on You Tube. The comments are very interesting. Typically it lands into arguments between, what one assumes are, Indians and Pakistanis. And one always find Indian origin people from Africa, South America and elsewhere joining the discussions. Some of the old songs are so breath-taking, melodious and great (words fail me), and looks like many many Pakistanis simply love old Hindi filmi songs. For obvious reasons, Mohammad Rafi has a huge fan base. Almost all Muslim actors & actresses are viewed sympathetically. Waheda Rahman's (who can forget her) beauty receives lavish praises from all quarters.

I almost want to say, there are not many old Hindi movie songs, on youtube, that does not receive attention from Pakistani audience. They are drawn like moths are drawn to fire. Because of the glass walls and ceilings, Pakistanis and Indians end up bickering.

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Re: Pan-Subcontinentalism - A New Nationalism!

Postby Sudip » 01 Jan 2011 23:22

SwamyG wrote:I almost want to say, there are not many old Hindi movie songs, on youtube, that does not receive attention from Pakistani audience. They are drawn like moths are drawn to fire. Because of the glass walls and ceilings, Pakistanis and Indians end up bickering.


Just like a teenage crush:-- I get this huge crush on this pretty chick around the corner, but that need not necessarily mean that it will end up in a successful lifelong marriage. Dreams and reality need to be kept separate.

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Re: Pan-Subcontinentalism - A New Nationalism!

Postby SwamyG » 01 Jan 2011 23:27

^^^
Agreed. I was just posting my observations from you tube comments. There were some Pakistanis who liked the Hindi movie songs, while other Pakistanis ended up trash-talking.

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Re: Pan-Subcontinentalism - A New Nationalism!

Postby Manny » 01 Jan 2011 23:56

Partition was the best thing to have happened to India. in hindsight it is very clear, the people who bemoaned the partion were wrong. They had no vision.

I thank Jinnah everyday for freeing India from AQ and LeT and quarantining them.

Who in his right mind would want to undo this thankful event?

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Re: Pan-Subcontinentalism - A New Nationalism!

Postby Manny » 01 Jan 2011 23:59

SwamyG wrote:My point, sooner or later India will have to think about "redistribution" of its population.


The best two places to go for this are Canada and Oz.

Oz has been invaded by the Chinese. To balance it out, Indians need to go there in large numbers.

Canada is the same. It's larger in size than the Unites States and has a population of 25mill (About the size of Mumbai). Moreover, every Chanuk claims they are liberals and non racist egalitarians. They shouldn't have problems with liberal left desies moving there in large numbers.

All patriotic desies need to take flight and put up shop in these two countries. ASAP!

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Re: Pan-Subcontinentalism - A New Nationalism!

Postby Bade » 02 Jan 2011 00:11

Manny wrote:Partition was the best thing to have happened to India. in hindsight it is very clear, the people who bemoaned the partion were wrong. They had no vision.

I thank Jinnah everyday for freeing India from AQ and LeT and quarantining them.

Who in his right mind would want to undo this thankful event?


One could also argue that if those lands were within India, then maybe the rabid versions would not have developed in such a prolific manner. The separate distinct identity that majority in both east and west partitioned lands enjoy now has led or been a catalyst for this cancerous growth. Our ability to influence them has diminished. Maybe, our generation taking such an extreme view are committing a bigger blunder than our ancestors, who under some egalitarian Indic viewpoint let it get seeded. By letting it grow now unencumbered another blunder is being committed for later generations to pay the price. This is merely passing the buck to the future. Like it or not, India will have to solve the neighborhood problems for peace and prosperity.

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Re: Pan-Subcontinentalism - A New Nationalism!

Postby Prem » 02 Jan 2011 00:18

The Subcontinentalism remind me of "Aa Baail , mughe maar" i.e Invite/Come Ox and kick me hard in the Musharraf. Strengthing Indian core can achieve all the desired results asked by Rajesh ji. Indians are building one of the most powerful nations on the Earth and need no divertion to exhaust their energy on wasteful people in the neighborhood. I think the best way to go is build the enoromous economy , become one of the top 3, translate that power into military strength and then go on fixing the periphery by first demolishing the centuries old false edifices and then reconstructing them into our own civilizational image . Indian interest calls for the recovery of the area and not of the people gone to the Non Indic way. The appropriate time to publicly discuss this subject is 2025plus.


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